The Nara period of Japanese history lasted a relatively short time, from 710 to 794. However, its sacred Buddhist culture, exemplified by an astounding abundance of temples and shrines, has bequeathed literally and metaphorically divine sacred treasures. This is reflected… Continue reading

Kamakura Sculpture: Realism and Spirituality

Kaikei (active ca. 1183–1223), Fudo Myoo, Kamakura period, early 13th century, lacquered, polychromed, and gilded Japanese cypress (hinoki) with cut gold leaf (kirikane) and inlaid crystal eyes, 54.6 x 42.5 x 38.1 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015 Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The magnificent sculpture of the Kamakura period  (1185-1333) has long been considered a high point in the history of Japanese art. Stylistic and technical innovations led to sculpture that displayed greater realism than ever before. Sculptors began signing their works,… Continue reading